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A Teenager’s View: Dream Big READ! at the New Canaan Library

Looking for something fun to do with your children in New Canaan for the rest of the summer? Come visit the Children's Room and enjoy the many activities!

Wondering what to do with your children while in New Canaan during the summer?  A great place for children to beat the heat is the Children’s Room of the New Canaan Library. 

Summer Reading Clubs are part of most public libraries across the United States. The New Canaan Library’s summer program features incentive prizes to encourage readers and listeners to “Dream Big READ!”  In addition to the traditional summer reading programs, New Canaan Library offers drop-in story time programs, arts and crafts events, folktale readers’ theatre, book discussions, Wii Play, Puzzle Week and so much more!

Under the direction of Rose Marie Zaharek, Children’s Room Head Librarian, your children will enjoy many hours of fun, make new friends and learn at the same time. “The children and parents are so appreciative of all of the programming that we do,” stated Mrs. Zaharek who felt that the New Canaan Library was so special because of “our great collection, the programs and the wonderful helpful staff.”

Volunteer Cheryl Hughey, a former elementary school teacher in a Chicago suburb and in Connecticut, transformed the Children’s Room into a colorful wonderland filled with trees and night time animals.  Owls and bats look down at young visitors and their families from their perches.  A blanket of stars covers the ceiling and provides a warm environment for the Children Room’s summer programs called PJ Storytimes and Stories by the Campfire.

According to Mrs. Hughey the actual set up at the library did not take too long as her husband helped with some of the heavier lifting and with hanging the starry sky ceiling.  “I was able to do much of the other work, like the trees and archway, at home during the weeks preceding the summer program kickoff…and  a friend who is handy with tools devised a way to bolt in the tree branches while dealing with  a support column” she explained. 

Mrs. Hughey credits Rose Marie Zaharek for this year’s inspiration. “(She) envisioned a nighttime environment complete with nocturnal animals in a forest setting based on this year’s summer reading program ‘Dream Big – Read!’”

Marie Aspinwall, who works part time in the Children’s Room while pursuing her MLS in Information and Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University, added “The best part of working with children is always their excitement, especially with the summer reading program, having them excited to tell me about a book that they really loved is always the best part. I expect the Children's Room to always be inviting, helpful and cheerful, which it is especially when the summer reading program is going on and it's all decorated!”  It certainly is!

Some of the activities featured during the summer include:

Drop-In Summer Storytimes – a Read Aloud Story program that runs through Friday, July 27.

Tuesdays at 11a.m. for ages 3-4; Wednesdays at 3 p.m. for ages 5-8; Thursdays at 11 a.m.for Book Babies and Fridays at 11 a.m. for 2 year olds.

Young Critics Discussion Group –Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin will be discussed on Wednesday, July 25 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.  This program is open to Grades 4 to 6.  Pizza will be served. Registration required (203) 594-5002.

Stories by the Campfire – Thursday, July 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Children ages 5 to 10 can make a “log”, drop itonto a “campfire”, sing songs and listen to night time stories. No mosquitos to worry about!

Paint-A-Pillowcase- Friday, July 27th.  Led by Cheryl Hughey. Fun for children ages 6 to 8 in the Children's Program Room. Come to the Library to paint a glow-in-the-dark pillowcase to brighten up the darkest night!  All materials provided.  Limited enrollment. Registration required (203) 594-5002.

Camp D.I.Y. – Monday, August 6 through Friday, August 10 for Grades 5 through 8. Spend a fun-filled week making hand crafted beads, pop-up cards, T-shirt surgery and more!  Limited enrolled. Registration required (203) 594-5002.

Young Sherlocks Mystery Book Club – Wednesday, August 8 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

A NEW monthly book club started this summer for “super-sleuths” who enjoy reading mysteries.  The program is open to children in Grades 6 and 7. Pizza will be served. Registration required (203) 594-5002.

Grand Finale Celebration–  Thursday, August 16 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. “Howl at the Moon with a Wild Thing Tune!” featuring Tom Sieling, a popular children’s singer and musician, will take place in the Lamb Room (lower level) and is open to all Reading Club and Listening Club participants and their families.

Puzzle Week – Like to do puzzles?  Children ages 5 to 12 can visit the Children’s Room Monday, August 20 through Friday, August 24 between 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wii Play – Thursdays in July and August from 3 to 5 p.m. for Grades 5 to 8.  Bring your friends and play Wii in the Children’s Program Room.

The Listeners’ Club and Readers’ Club run through Friday, August 10 and children can still enroll.  Each child receives a reading log to track the books they read or had read to them if they are non-readers.  Then the fun begins.  The more books on your log, the more prizes you will receive. Some incentives are log book stickers, a notepad, decorative pen, jump rope and magnetic frame to display a photo that a librarian will take of your child as he or she reads a book.

So, bring your children to the Children’s Room and have a wonderful summer!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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